Local residents and businesses will be switching off on Saturday 27 March as they throw their support behind Earth Hour 2010.

Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt said that at 8.30pm the local community would once again have an opportunity to take a visible stand against climate change.

“By supporting Earth Hour you are sending a powerful message that you care about climate change and you want others to care too,” Mr Pitt said.

“If all Queenslanders switch off their lights from 8.30 to 9.30pm for Earth Hour, we can stop over one million kilograms of greenhouse gas emissions entering our atmosphere.

“That’s equal to taking about 260 cars off the road for an entire year, and a saving of over one million kWh in electricity consumption.”

The Bligh Government is once again supporting Earth Hour, which is a global initiative by World Wildlife Fund aimed at raising awareness about the effects of energy consumption on climate change.

“While it’s great to take part in this one-off event, Earth Hour 2010 is a reminder to take a good look at our lifestyles and see what actions we can do every hour of everyday to reduce our broader carbon footprint,” Mr Pitt said.

“We can all make simple changes to our daily lives that collectively amount to a huge difference in the health of our planet.

“My personal commitment this year is to use my ClimateSmart monitor to reduce the amount of standby power used at home and I have also signed up to purchase green energy.“

Mr Pitt said there was a range of Queensland Government programs to help households and businesses reduce their carbon footprint.

“Everyone can cut two tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in their household at any time by taking the Queensland Government’s Low Carbon Diet program that consists of simple and easy lifestyle changes.

“The ClimateSmart Home Service also allows you to save up to $450 a year on your bills while saving energy, water and the environment, and provides households with up to $450 of eco-efficient products for a one-off $50 fee.

“For a small fee, you can also now register to offset your vehicle emissions through the Reverse the Effect campaign – it doesn’t get any easier than that.

“The government also has a range of great programs for business and industry groups to help save them money, energy, water and the environment.”

For more information about Queensland Government programs and to register visit www.climatesmart.qld.gov.au

Mr Pitt said he would be attending a screening of the family film WALL-E hosted by Gordonvale State School during Earth Hour this year.

“The Gordonvale State School P&C Association received $6,380* as one of 33 organisations across the state to benefit from Queensland Government funding to deliver the Low Carbon Diet message,” Mr Pitt said.

“Gates will open at 5.30pm to give residents an opportunity to learn how to live more sustainably from static displays set up at this event, and the free outdoor screening commences at 7pm.”

To sign up to Earth Hour 2010 or to find out more information visit www.earthhour.org.au

*Figure is GST inclusive.